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Monday Musings: 12.31.2012 Edition December 31, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in Holidays Countdown, Home, knitting, meal plan monday, Musings.


Can I just start by saying:  HOLY COW!  It’s the end of the year!  Where did this year go?

I trust our TENS of readers had a wonderful holiday and didn’t miss us too much!

As you can see by the photo, we’ve continued out tradition of buying a small live, potted tree for Christmas.    Assuming it survives the winter, we’ll plant it in the back yard in the spring.

It’s somehow sad to see all the used-up Christmas trees at the curb awaiting trash day for the next couple of weeks, isn’t it?



One of the projects I’ve been working on the past few weeks was to make a couple of  special ornaments for some friends of ours – it just seems a little more personal than a Christmas card, you know?

I found a wee little mitten pattern (using leftover sock yarn!) that turned out to be the Cutest Mitten Ever!


I even dragged out a crochet hook when I found some glittery crochet cotton – there’s very little prettier than a sparkly, lacy snowflake, is there?

Though you know? If I’m going to do this sort of thing for Christmas,  should probably start before December.  Someone should remind me next year . . .



As we have for the past few years, Peeps and I cooked Christmas dinner for the family.

It was pretty standard fare – prime rib with individual Yorkshire puddings, this AMAZING mashed potato casserole (that we are DEFINITELY going to do again!). . . and we also did dessert.

When I saw the recipe, I could not resist making  a red velvet cheesecake cake.

I mean, WHAT could be more festive?  Two layers of red velvet cake, with a layer of homemade cheesecake between, all frosted with cream cheese frosting, with colored sprinkles on top – you know you’d try it too!


So we got a bit of snow this week.

Actually a little more than “a bit”  – Peeps spent a good amount of time shoveling enough of the deck that he can get out to the grill for our annual New Year’s Eve Steak Dinner this week.

And, of course, since his Papa was out, The Jar needed to be out, as well.

And since The Jar was out, he got to enjoy a little bone time.

Too bad there really wasn’t a good place for him to lie down. . . though he managed!


In other, non-holiday news, I’m hoping to get a start on painting the new bathroom this week – that drywall dust is driving me NUTS!

I want to make sure I have a clearer vision of what I want throughout the house before I start painting willy-nilly.  Again.

It’s unfortunate when you get done painting, take a step back, and realize, you know, I don’t really love that.  It’s even worse when your reaction is  “I hate that.”

I’ve got both going on right now.  Time for a little change of the scenery, I’d say.



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  I don’t know if it’s the holidays, or the FEET of snow we’re suddenly dealing with, or the cold, or just simply old age, but WOW we’ve been tired lately!  For this week, anyway, we’re trying to keep things as simple as we can.

Monday – On New Years eve, rather than go out, Peeps and I have always made our way to the grill – even if we have to practically tunnel through the snow – and grilled a couple of rib-eye steaks.  And what would a steak dinner be without a baked potato?  A fresh salad, a little fresh bread, and, of course, a bottle of something fizzy, because, let’s face it, there’s no way we’re going to see midnight anyway!

Tuesday – I’m told that Hoppin’ John is traditional New Year’s Day fare, and we can certainly use all the good luck we can get – especially with the upcoming painting projects on our horizon!

Wednesday – We pulled a package of homemade breakfast sausage from the freezer and will do . . . something breakfasty.  Maybe sausage gravy and biscuits, perhaps sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches, or possibly breakfast burritos.

Thursday – So remember how, a couple of weeks ago, we had taco night?  Well, we had some meat left over (and that was even after a couple of weekend taco nights, and a few taco breakfasts and lunches for each of us!), and, in the spirit of not shoving stuff in the freezer and forgetting about it, we took the last bit of pork and some refried beans, along with some other stuff we had knocking around, ad we made soup – what’s better (and simpler?) on a snowy early January Thursday night than soup, huh?

Friday – As usual, Peeps’s mom joins us for pizza night – we like to make SURE she gets out of the house now and then, and she does enjoy Peeps’s pizza!

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.





1. Julie Dellemonache - December 31, 2012

The paint comment made me laugh!!! We did that. We had bought paint for the upper half of our house. Didn’t use it until next spring. We had someone else come over and paint the house for use so we wouldn’t have to be on ladders. Came home latter that day and I went OMG!!!! what color is that…did we pick that out??? He was almost done with it too boot! At that point it was too late, might as well continue painting…well the color was what we picked out, and it grows on you.When we finally re-side bottom half of house it will look nice.

Toy Lady - December 31, 2012

We spent the better part of a weekend painting ALL of the upstairs – and I tried SO HARD to like it when it was done, but really, I don’t love it. The color is just too bright. The worst part is that, since all my “woodwork” (and I use the term in the loosest possible sense) is crap pine, I thought it would be a good idea to paint it all a dark, forest green. Yeah, I hate that. I mean really, really hate it. BUT – live and learn, right? 🙂

2. judy - December 31, 2012

Welcome back on Monday in my in-box.  I love your little tree and sure agree with the idea!  Jar looked so GOOD and yes, you got “some” snow. Enjoy your streaks tonight and a Happy New Year to you people.  You seemed to have survived the holiday meal so I will venture it was a success.  How many were there? Your little ornaments are darling.  Put a note on the calendar in July that says “start Christmas” for more ornaments for 2013.  🙂  Enjoy the painting.   judy


Toy Lady - December 31, 2012

Hey,Judy! Christmas dinner went well – there were only about a dozen people, so that wasn’t too bad. 🙂

The Jar is having a BALL in this snow – he’s hopping around, pouncing on . . . whatever – he looks like a giant puppy! 😀

3. mazco34 - December 31, 2012

Hope your Christmas was enjoyable. Happy New Year to everyone!
(Just to let you know, we still haven’t received the packages from you or the one from Jane’s friends.)

Toy Lady - December 31, 2012

Oh dear. 😦 I think Jane’s friend was to send it to your work address, and I used your home address. Sheesh – I even sprung for priority mail and everything! 🙄

Well. . . I hope you get it soon. I’ll tell you, I’ll be really hacked off if it gets lost in the mail, after working with that stupid sparkly crochet cotton. 😉

4. Rona - December 31, 2012

MPM definitely keeps me on track. I actually look forward to Mondays!
This New Year’s Eve, I’m staying home, cleaning our house and doing some blog visiting. Hubby had to work so it will be quiet.
Your menu plan looks delicious.
Have a wonderful week and a Happy New Year!

Toy Lady - January 2, 2013

Rona, hi. I hope you’re well!

After the busy-ness of Christmas, it’s nice to spend a quiet New Year, isn’t it?

5. Anne - December 31, 2012

Happy New Year to your house!

And speaking of paint, I sympathise. We painted our two-story foyer and hallways last year at this time. I was afraid of going too dark, so of course the paint I chose is too light. If you look closely at the paint against the white trim, you can tell that it has a hint of beigyness. Otherwise, oh look, we painted white. 😦

Be safe this holiday. We’re at home, DH isn’t completely over the flu. Poor fellow, he planned to take two weeks off, and has spent the entire time sick. Maybe January will be better! 😀

Toy Lady - January 2, 2013

Don’t you hate it when you have to waste good vacation time being sick? I hope he’s feeling better. 🙂

Walls in the bathroom are done – just need to do the trim. So far, I’m pretty happy, though we’ll see about that after I do the fussy parts. 🙄

6. sjbraun - January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! I love your little tree! I, too, feel sad to see the trees thrown out after Christmas. I *love* the idea of planting yours! Do you have several from prior years that have made it? That cake looks wonderful! Recipe, please! Yes, that little mitten is pretty much the cutest thing ever. You rock! I hope this is a great year for your whole family, humans animals too 🙂

Toy Lady - January 2, 2013

And best wishes for the new year to you too! 🙂

I’ve only been buying live trees for a few years – and sadly, I only have one that’s survived – a couple never made it into the ground, and one did, but it didn’t survive the first summer. 😦 I’ve learned to pay more attention, though, and only buy trees that are cold-hardy – the one I’ve got outside is a blue spruce, and this year’s is a Douglas fir. Both should be fine. 🙂

Oh, and if you have a spare weekend, here’s the recipe for the red velvet cheesecake cake.

7. Karen - January 1, 2013

We were in shorts again for Christmas. Did we have cold? For us, yes, after that it was hello! warm. It took me three years to choose a color for the inside of our house – a neutral gray/silvery color – so I don’t have to color coordinate a room. (I stink at that) Prime rib sounds delish – for New Years day we had honey baked ham, smothered cabbage, corn bread, rice and black eyed peas. If I served anything else I’d be dead. Tradition and all that. Yeah, we didn’t have to wear coats and had rain. A light dusting of snow that went away the next day would be nice but I don’t get the option of ordering the weather!

Stay warm and I love your dog. I miss my black lab.

Toy Lady - January 2, 2013

Shorts. Feh. I hauled out my long underwear about a week ago, and it’s here to stay. 🙂 Thank goodness for wool, socks, too. 😉

I stink at color-coordinating too. I envy people who can just take random stuff and somehow pull it all together.

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